About the Guitar:
This serial #3 short scale Clarke Spellbinder was a personal bass of Stanley Clarke.
Clarke has long been associated with Alembic basses, and much of his recorded output has been produced on Alembic instruments, particularly a dark-wood-colored custom bass in the Series I body style. These basses are handmade neck-through-body instruments made from a mixture of exotic woods and a proprietary active pickup system that is powered from an external power supply. A StanleyClarke Signature Model bass guitar is produced by Alembic. Clarke also utilizes full-range amplification for his basses, including two QSC 2050 amplifiers, more in keeping with a keyboardist’s rig than a bassist’s or guitarists. To extend his melodic range, he also plays on tenor and piccolo basses. Clarke’s are usually short scale (78 cm or 30.75″), four string, Carl Thompson or Alembic.
In the late 1970s, Clarke was playing Rick Turner’s first graphite neck on his Alembic “Black Beauty” bass, and he decided to have an all composite bass made. He commissioned designer/luthier Tom Lieber to design and build this bass, having purchased one of Lieber’s Spider grinder basses in 1979. Stanley approved the design and Tom built a prototype guitar which required four patents to handle the innovations. In 1980 Lieber and Clarke formed the Spellbinder Corporation and produced a limited run of fifty Spellbinder basses. One left-handed bass was built as a gift from Stanley to Paul McCartney. After the run, the molds were destroyed. In 2007 Clarke once again teamed up with Lieber and Rick Turner to reform the Spellbinder Corp. and produce a limited run of 125 of the Spellbinder Bass II, which he played on the RTF reunion tour.
Here is a video of Stanley Clarke playing his Spellbinder Bass during rehearsals for the Return To Forever Reunion Tour: